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Blackwood & Bell Mysteries
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Blackwood & Bell Mysteries

Release Date:  02/22/2012
Publisher:  
Developer:  Playdom
Genre:  HOG
Sponsor:

Blackwood & Bell Mysteries is the second HOG (hidden object game) title from Disney-Playdom following its initial hit on Facebook– “Gardens of Time”, which has been played, liked and recommended by millions of Facebook users and has claimed the championship in popularity. The third place is taken by Hidden Chronicles from Zynga, an expert in making social games. It’s obvious that Disney-Playdom is consolidating its HOG championship in Facebook with Blackwood and Bell Mystery.

The game takes a typical Victorian flavor, and names itself after the in-game detectives James Blackwood and Catherine Bell that will unfold a story richer than any of its predecessor.

There are four chapters in the game, six scenes each. Different from lovely scenes and single-mystery in many other games of this genre, Blackwood & Bell features a crime-related atmosphere with abandoned ghost ships and haunted Victorian mansions as the main scenes. And there is more than one crime to discover, where vampires are involved as well as wicked humans. Gamers seek to find clues, with distinct purpose.

Interaction between friends like daily gift-sending, visiting are still rewarded, and there are more duel competition where two players find clues against the timer.

Review:

HOG, as a long-term game, is still an underdeveloped genre. Too many stereotypes lie within the mechanic of such games, for some unknown reason. Well, as I see it, HOG makers are in dilemma. They have to make the trivial seeking tasks a serious matter or part of a serious matter. Meanwhile, the seeking can’t be too purposive to make the game a short-lived puzzle — the trivial part is the core part. Let’s have a look into Blackwood & Bell Mysteries, to see where it has reached.

First, BBM wants to look different. There are four chapters in the game, each with 24 scenes to unlock. The scenes are more dirty, items whether beaten, the atmosphere more sinister. Vampires and criminals appear to threat, to quarrel with the detectives and the player, the more gifted detective with special ability. But, honestly speaking, I hate the color of the light—unhealthy, reminiscent of frozen blood. I always think the beauty of a scene lies in the light rays. Without a healthy light effect, the most splendid hotel can smell of drainage. This is why you enter a cleanest restaurant and still feel unsafe. That’s to say, the game fail to be unhealthy while at the same time being beautiful sensuously. Still to be different, the two detectives, introduced as an American and a Londoner, are totally Asian from top to toe. Detective, characteristic of keenness and toughness, never relates itself with a mild Asian lady who is better at passive skills like patience, diligence and making peace. But why this game uses an Asian lady and an Asian man to accompany players throughout the game? Just to change a tune, to ease the tracking, analyzing of a criminal case and to ease the loneliness of searching a filthy place that any HOG can’t avoid. I mean, there have been too many western lady guides for such mystery games and western ladies, in my opinion, are more lonely and depressing than anything.

The game lets you earn XP, silvers (cheap and spent on compulsory items) and pieces of stars (the so-called achievement in other games) with quests. Replay is encouraged by giving accumulation-goal quests like “reach 2 star in deck”, “earn 9 stars in chapter one”. Another factor for level up is Reputation, which is actually a means of silver outflow and often leads you to adding gold (not earnable currency in the game).

One thing no less expensive than gold is energy. You buy it with money or with patience. It’s said that friends can help you out in many way, with a simple click, but friend help is limited in content, quantity and frequency. Wanna ask for energy 10 times a day? It’s daydream! Only once per day! But they do help a lot when a heavily-invested building needs his or her click to “finish”. You don’t know what requirements can pop out at the finishing click. But they are common in one thing—lead you to your account.

However tricky the mechanic can be, the core part of HOG can be trivial, and how the trivial things can be sweet and inspiring is my first concern. My attitude towards HOG is always changing. Sometimes I think seeking and finding trivial things is a serious interaction between human and nature. Sometimes they are human’s recognition with the items they have made and named. Sometimes the whole searching is just meaningless– the enclosed rooms make you feel detached. Well, the surprises BBM has afforded are by moving the target items further, blocked partly, covered with a net, and by making the items false(not just untypical), unlike or absolutely not the object responding to the name. For example, the book is wrapped with discolored red paper and put high on the slinging cable. I wonder how it stays there still without slipping down. The captain hat on the deck, so near to the eye but just impossible to recognize, and there is no reasons around it to make it that dazzling. It’s not tricks. It’s rascality.

In fact, I play Blackwood & Bell Mysteries simultaneously with another HOG – Hidden Haunts, which impressed me in an opposite way, careless in looks but qualified to make me feel teased pleasantly with its trickery. BBM, regarding the difficulty of seeking and reasons of such difficulties, fails to impress me very much.

Similar Games:

Hidden Haunts, Hidden Chronicles, World Mysteries.

34 Comments on Blackwood & Bell Mysteries

Respond

  1. laura says:

    como juego a mystery en español ?

  2. Marieta Ramz Alt says:

    como lo juego en español???? por favor diganme

  3. chari says:

    Se puede jugar en español?

  4. Mariel says:

    quiero jugarlo en español!!!!! ayudenme

  5. Pato Arellano says:

    ESTE JUEGO NO TIENE VERSION ESPAÑOLLLLL,….SERIA UNA LASTIMA Q' NO FUERA ASI!! =/

  6. Val says:

    WTF – I just lost 4 Gold Bars trying to expand my garden – any idea what has happened.

  7. stylergirl says:

    wie geht das auf deutsch???

  8. Bebita says:

    Como se juega en español por favooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. sonia says:

    comose juega en español por favoooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  10. Pamela says:

    idem, no hay version en español??

  11. Anne says:

    Playdom must be one of the most unfair companies around. They do make good games, dont get me wrong, but they treat the user like an idiot. When it comes to purchasing Gold with real money, they charge different people different amounts for the items that cost real money, some people can be charged up to 5 times what others pay. I say be warned before you spend a single penny on this game, check with your friends!!!! else you could end up paying way over the top, my example is Big Ben building, 50 gold on some peoples games, and 11 gold on others….BEWARE!!!!!!!!!

  12. DEBBIE says:

    Como se juega en español por favooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. DAVID says:

    PORQUE NO LO PODEMOS JUGAR EN ESPAÑOL, TENGO DESDE SU INICIO JUGANDOLO EN INGLES, PERO SE ME DIFICULTA. EN ALGUN MOMENTO LO TENDREMOS EN ESPAÑOL, GRACIAS.
    DAVID

  14. comete19 says:

    super jeu dommage qu'il ne soit pas en français—-à revoir si possible

  15. Linda says:

    Any news on when a new chapter will be out?

  16. francisco says:

    Gentlemen, I love the game but I have a problem … CAN I play it in SPANISH … THERE VERSION FOR THIS GAME IN SPANISH? EXIST ANY TIME OR IN THIS VERSION .. This is the wonder as many of us want to play but we have this lock .. I hope your answers thanks

  17. cecilia says:

    como puedo jugar el juego blackwood y bell mysteries en español?

  18. cecilia says:

    porfavor

  19. Alexander says:

    I search Neighbors for Blackwood & Bell Mysteries. Ich suche noch Nachbarn 🙂 Nickname auf Facebook: Aelxander Marc

  20. Pamela says:

    I'm level 18, but I can't place any wonders from level 4+. What am I doing wrong?

  21. millie says:

    need neighbors please

  22. daniel says:

    tienes que lo google tradutor

  23. christophe says:

    comment on fait pour mettre en francais ce jeu sur facebook

  24. fraillon says:

    cherche des voisins…….

  25. helene fraillon says:

    a la recherche de voisins….

  26. donata says:

    I need neighbors:)

  27. Diana says:

    Why don't I receive the gifts people send me? Where do thy go?

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